192// Still Turning

The world is still turning. I’m here and not, here and not. I’ve been off doing other things, but this space is never far from my thoughts. Fatigue, and worry, and heat, and overwhelm have kept me from it, and though I am here now, I make no promises for tomorrow or after.

Still, starting again is always a good sign. Being at this desk, typing, and even feeling the faint stirrings of old ideas and passions in the back of my mind is a sign that I’m feeling better. I’m feeling more myself. I’m mentally and physically stable enough to move outside of the present into memories and hopes.

For a short week this was certainly one of the longest in recent months. I was happy to be back at my usual location but coming off of a week spent away from work and coworkers and then returning to small talk, mask wearing, and expectation was jarring. I have another break coming up next week and after I think I’ll avoid taking time off for a long while. The seesawing between strict social distancing and this “new normal” are hard of the psyche.

And this new normal? It isn’t even agreed upon or settled yet, not by far! Every day new decisions are made and every day new anxieties are triggered. I’m dreading the start of the school year, but I’m also eager for it to begin. It’s going to be hard to find a way to stay safe and to keep both the kids and my coworkers safe too, but I’m ready to stop talking about it, fretting over it, speculating about it. I’m ready to get started!

Good things are happening too. I’m growing and learning how to delegate, how to teach, how to mentor others in my new position. I’m also confronting my flaws, bad habits, and toxic traits and working toward making space for others. I’ve spent so long fighting to be seen and heard that I have forgotten how to relinquish space to others. I no longer have to be the center to be secure or respected.

My health is improving with a new medicine and meal plan that includes hours of intermittent fasting to give my system a rest and plenty of time spent in a state of so little movement and stress that I am reminded of the “rest cure” prescribed to “nervous women” around the turn of the 2th century. It’s helping though and slowly, as I can, I’m returning to my workout routine and personal pursuits.

The world is still more shifting sand than solid stone out there. There is chaos, conflict, and change happening everywhere at every moment and it’s so scary but so exciting too. I’m happy to be alive now, though the old grief of knowing there is so much I won’t get to live through is stronger than ever.

They say living in the present helps relieve death anxiety, but for me paying attention to the present only ever highlights the time ticking away. Luckily, I’ve long since learned to sit with this—and many other—uncomfortable truths.